Holidays are pretty much my favourite thing to do, the biggest downer about holidays though is the travel aspect. No one is a fan of flights, and if you say you are you are either lying, or you can afford to fly business/first class.
Dean & I are quite frequent travellers. Every year we travel to Melbourne, where Dean’s family lives, an average of 4 times which equates to a lot of flights over the years. We’ve been to Bali in that time twice, Europe (and multiple flights within), Dubai, and I’ve done about 4 interstate work trips in that time. That equates to around about 67 flights, without including any flights from when we lived in Adelaide and travelled home to Newcastle.
Thought: Is this me justifying that I am qualified to write this? Probably. Yes. I guess my Emotional Intelligence score was somewhat correct that I am highly consultative and seek approval too often. Do I? Oh.
Anyway, these are my top 10 tips for surviving flights..
- My top flying tip is BE COMFORTABLE! This can be a difficult one when travelling for work but you need to really make your outfit work for you and ensure that you can be as comfortable as possible for the duration of the flight. A good example of this is a work conference I attended in Adelaide in May last year, we we’re headed straight to the office after the flight and needed to be in ‘business casual’ attire (yes, I hear you- what is ‘business casual’ it’s a shit dress code). Usually to work I would wear black pants that are a light fabric, so I swapped out my pants for black lightweight jeans that were a good stretch denim and had quite a stretchy waist band. I paired this with a white top in a synthetic wrinkle proof fabric, and black blazer. This made it easy to shed a layer depending on weather, and still look ‘business casual’ enough to go into the office, or straight out to dinner. On a long-haul flight I would usually wear cotton tights, a padded sports crop (in place of a restrictive bra), a lightweight cotton t-shirt, a cardigan because I am always cold, and thongs. Luckily I don’t often travel with people I know because flight socks and thongs are not an impression I want to leave on anyone.. I wish I could be a glamorous traveller, I’m just not.
2. HYDRATE! I know how annoying it is when you have to get up 6 times during a flight to let someone go to the bathroom, even more annoying when that person is you. Here’s where I am going to say “too bad, suck it up sister” because hydration is going to be of the most benefit for you before and during your flight. By hydrating yourself you are not only looking after yourself, but your skin wont dry out as much, you will be in good health and less likely to contract other peoples germs, and you will be more refreshed walking off the plane (you’ll look it too!). There are sooooo many benefits to hydrating yourself around flights, I don’t think I need to preach them all, just do it and you’ll thank yourself.
3.One thing I take on flights no matter how long or short is ANTI-BACTERIAL WIPES. These are compact so take up next to no room in your bag and have lots of great uses. My main use for these is that I like to wipe the back of my neck after having it glued to the seat for hours (yes, maybe i’m weird), and I also loveeee when you’ve been on a long flight you can use the airport bathroom quickly and give yourself a quick once over, reapply your deodorant and instantly feel fresh again. On long-haul flights you can substitute these for cleansing wipes and cleanse your face a couple of times throughout to keep the germs out of your precious pores.
4. This is one that you can’t exactly do on the flight but should do for a solid week leading up to, and that’s take MULTI-VITAMINS & PROBIOTICS. Probiotics give you good gut health, and multi-vitamins help build you immune system and general wellbeing. Both of these are easily compromised when you are in a small, air-restricted space with 300 other people. There have been multiple times I’ve gotten sick in short periods after flights, you obviously can’t control other peoples germs, so control your own health as much as possible to avoid unnecessary holiday downtime.
5. My next tip is again to do with germs… i’m starting to see a theme here #germaphobe. I don’t leave my house without this so, naturally it’s a must have on flights and that is HAND SANITISER. Remember how you are sharing air with 300 other people who have germs. Yeah, well they also touched the hand-rail that you used to get up the stairs, they also touched the over-head compartment to but their bag in, they also touched the toilet door handle. Keep it close, use it.
6. Again, following on from the last tip.. Flights are air-restricted and therefor dry out your skin very quickly so you can never go wrong keeping a MOISTURISER nearby. Hand sanitiser will dry out your hands so moisturise your hands, on long-haul flights after cleansing your face moisturise. By having an in-flight skincare regime (however small it is) you will prevent major breakouts as a result of congestion.
7. This is one I included in my Travel Q&A collaboration post but I always travel with a large SARONG. It’s strange, I know but my one “must pack” item is a sarong. I’ve found this so handy, I used my sarong to cover my shoulders to go into The Vatican, I’ve used it when i’ve been cold on long train rides or flights, I’ve used it as a picnic blanket, I’ve used it to wrap up my camera if I don’t have a whole camera bag, i’ve used it as a towel, all bunched up as a pillow, the list is honestly endless. This is me on a train somewhere in Italy in 2007… #tbt
8. TOOTHPASTE & TOOTHBRUSH. I think this one is pretty self explanatory. Brushing your teeth makes you feel instantly fresher. I usually brush mine at least once or twice during a long-haul flight and then as soon as I get off and am refreshing in the bathroom I do a quick brush again before I am greeting people, or checking into hotels.
9. LIP BALM. Again another pretty simple one but it goes hand-in-hand with hydration, probiotics/vitamins, and moisturising. Germs= potential cold sore. Dry lips= potential cold sore. Are you holidaying in a summer location? Sun= potential cold sore. If you do the maths and all of this together you’d come to the same conclusion that you are in the ‘likely’ category to attract a pesky cold sore so start by eliminating some of those factors. Buy a protecting lip balm like Burt’s Bees or Blistex and apply it every time you think of it during the flight. Your lips will thank you.
10. Don’t fall into the trap of all the junk food and alcohol. EAT HEALTHY! It might seem like there’s nothing better to do than eat pringles and drink wine to kill the time but it is the worst possible thing you can do en route to your holiday destination (on the way home this is less important). Junk food and a change in your environment will lead to stomach upset, I don’t mean you will actually vomit but your body will stop operating as it normally does every day and not only will this make you feel crap, but you will look tired, and your skin will suffer. Try to have a decent meal before boarding your flight and stick to water for the duration. Naturally, on long-haul flights you will need to eat, choose the inflight meal that is most like something you would normally eat, and snack on healthier options available. Why would you want to start your holiday feeling like crap? Take action on the way and you wont.
Here’s a bonus tip thrown in by Dean….
Take your own headphones that you like and take your phone charger on board. The airline supplied headphones can be uncomfortable and poor quality, and your phone will die quickly if you are using music or movie apps.